The Ivory Tower (Boardwalk Empire)
|"The Ivory Tower"|
|Boardwalk Empire episode|
Jimmy repays his debt.
|Episode no.||Season 1
|Directed by||Tim Van Patten|
|Written by||Terence Winter|
|Original air date||September 26, 2010|
|Running time||53 minutes|
"The Ivory Tower" is the second episode of the first season of the HBO television series Boardwalk Empire, which originally aired September 26, 2010. The episode was written by series creator and executive producer Terence Winter and directed by executive producer Tim Van Patten.
Nucky is paid a visit by Agent Nelson Van Alden. Jimmy is forced to pay Nucky a larger sum of money. Margaret is visited by Van Alden and Eli, each seeking a different side of her story as to the death of her husband.
- Steve Buscemi as Enoch "Nucky" Thompson
- Michael Pitt as James "Jimmy" Darmody
- Kelly Macdonald as Margaret Schroeder/Thompson
- Michael Shannon as Nelson Van Alden
- Shea Whigham as Elias "Eli" Thompson
- Aleksa Palladino as Angela Darmody
- Michael Stuhlbarg as Arnold Rothstein
- Stephen Graham as Al Capone
- Vincent Piazza as Charles Luciano
- Paz de la Huerta as Lucy Danziger
- Anthony Laciura as Edward Anselm "Eddie" Kessler – Nucky's assistant and butler.
- Paul Sparks as Mieczyslaw "Mickey Doyle" Kuzik
- Dabney Coleman as Commodore Louis Kaestner – Nucky's mentor and predecessor in Atlantic City.
In Atlantic City, Van Alden questions Nucky about the robbery and shootings he is investigating, revealing his suspicions that Hans Schroeder had been framed for them. At Nucky's direction, his brother Eli visits Margaret Schroeder in her hospital room, delivering an envelope of cash and stressing Hans's reported involvement in criminal activities. Nucky confronts bootlegger Mickey Doyle in prison, telling Doyle his operation is being taken over by Chalky White. Jimmy Darmody buys expensive Christmas gifts for his family with part of his share of the robbery proceeds.
Jimmy visits his mother Gillian, a showgirl, and presents her with an expensive necklace, replacing one she had sold to support the family during his childhood. He then goes to work, where Nucky confronts him about the robbery and shootings in the woods. After Jimmy admits his and Capone's involvement, Nucky fires him and demands an extra $3,000 share from the proceeds.
Rothstein telephones Nucky and demands $100,000 to cover his losses from the robbery, pointing out that a member of his family was among the shooting victims. Nucky refuses the demand. Van Alden visits Margaret at her home, tells her he believes her husband was not involved in the robbery, and questions her about her involvement with Nucky.
At the Commodore's home, Nucky and the Commodore discuss women's suffrage. The Commodore rejects the idea, condescendingly using his black maid, Luann, to demonstrate his belief that women are mentally unfit to vote.
After Van Alden writes home to his wife, he removes a hair ribbon he had taken from Margaret from his desk and smells it. Margaret visits Nucky and returns the money Eli gave her. They discuss Nucky's late wife, Margaret's financial situation, and Margaret's enthusiasm for reading, which appears to impress Nucky.
Jimmy steals back the necklace from his mother and resells it in order to pay Nucky. Nucky demonstrates the change in their relationship by immediately betting, and losing, the $3,000 in a roulette game.
A wounded survivor of the robbery turns up at the shooting scene.
The episode was written by series creator and executive producer Terence Winter and directed by executive producer Tim Van Patten. This is Van Patten's first directional episode of the series. He directs later episodes, Broadway Limited, Family Limitation and the season finale, A Return to Normalcy.
The story about Big Jim Colosimo's death is the one non-fictional story in The Ivory Tower. As seen in the pilot, Frankie Yale murders Jim on orders from Johnny Torrio. It was widely believed that Torrio ordered Colosimo's killing so that the gang could enter the lucrative bootlegging business.
IGN gave the episode a score of 8 out of 10, calling it "...an episode that is in some ways better than the pilot." They continued by praising Buscemi's performance as Nucky by saying: "Here, Buscemi effortlessly switches between silver-tongued politician and two-steps-ahead gangster, and in doing so eliminates any previous doubt that Nucky is not as formidable a presence as Tony Soprano."
Ratings for "The Ivory Tower" fell to 3.329 million viewers in its original telecast. However, if the repeat-telecast that night is included, the total viewer count reaches 4.4 million.
- Pirrello, Phil (September 27, 2010). "Boardwalk Empire: "The Ivory Tower" Review". IGN. Retrieved September 27, 2010.
- Gorman, Bill (September 28, 2010). "HBO's Boardwalk Empire Dips, 'Eastbound & Down' & 'Bored To Death' Premieres Up". TV by the Numbers. Retrieved September 28, 2010.